Sage One 3 weight.

Sage One 3 weight fly rod review on twigwater

 

If Northeast Victorian small stream fly fishing is a knife fight, this rod is like bringing Bruce Lee; and he’s got guns.

 

Without exception I’ve always had the slower actioned Sage models in light rods, while anything 5 or over has been re-arrange your face fast. I like fast rods.

For big water, and fishing from my kick-boat, as an example, I have a 9’ and 10’ Sage One 5 weights and for streamer fishing the Mitta Mitta, I have a 9’6 Method 6 weight. They’re all light, fast, and very powerful rods that reward good casting with epic distance, and accuracy, and punish bad casting like Judge Judy punishes white trash.

When I first moved to this very trouty corner of the world I figured that 3 weights were perfect, and that there would be a place in the rod rack for fast, medium, and slow, so I ordered the 7’6 #3 One sight un-seen.

*See my review of the Sage 7’6 #3 X 

It was meant to sit next to my favoured #3 Sage Circa and only come out to play when the hoppers were on in the howling wind, or if I wasn’t getting Zen with glass. The thing is, when it arrived, it turned out not to be all that fast and did not re-arrange any face.

In fact, it’s a firm-ish medium at the most. Hmmmm, didn’t expect that.

Small stream brown trout caught on Sage One 3 weight

A rare open section with enough room for a full backcast.

Of course, next to the Circa, it only flexes a bit above the midway point unless provoked and has a fast tip, but strung-up with the same wight forward Perception line, it’s actually pretty sweet on short casts. Both rods are equally light in the hand though the One is a touch shorter.

If the Circa is the king of sweet and forgiving, the One is the God rod of the light rod, distance casterbation universe.

Unlike the Circa, the One will shoot line, a lot of line, even on short flick casts or roll casts. Adding another 20 feet out the end of the rod is simple, and shooting the entire back half of the line only a matter of a quick, tight haul on the backcast, and having the room to do it.

Distance ? Why would that matter on a small, nasty, overgrown little stream ?

Well, for one thing, every once and while there’s a long narrow pool on these things where a 70 foot cast is needed to get to the meaty water. Wading up the tail of these pools can spook the tiddlers and shut the whole thing off, whereas one epic cast might get the boss’s attention.

Getting more distance from a roll cast or a water-haul when there’s no room is also very easy, as is punching out tight looped, accurate casts back into the cover.

Obviously the line has a lot to do with this, and is the reason I use the Perception for almost all my trout fishing. (review here:)

Small stream brown trout caught on Sage One 3 weight

No, they’re not to picky about flies most of the time, but they do spook easily on small streams.

I say all this with the one BIG caveat that your casting has to be pretty sharp to get the most out of this rod. It’s forgiving for what it is, but mean as a cut snake compared to the Circa or Scott F2’s in 3 weight.

(Scott F2 7′ #3 review:)

As a side note, anything you do to improve your casting will make you a better fly fisherman, no matter what rod or where you fish. A great way to learn casting, even if you’ve been at it since the stone age, is to hook-up with my mate Peter Morse at one of his casting days run around the country – these are fun, informative and money well spent.

Follow Peter on Facebook to see great fishing photography and get dates for upcoming events.

Peter Morse on Facebook:

I’ll close by saying, if I only had one twig rod, the Circa 3 would probably get the nod, but thankfully, One is never enough.

 

Small stream brown trout caught on Sage One 3 weight

Got any blacker ?  A black Abel TR1 and the black Sage One. One for the goths.

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7 Comments

  • barry says:

    Dave, I love your photos, like a number of people do…….. and am learning from them……
    ps more photos please

  • Miles says:

    Hi David,
    Interesting read. Have you ever tried the little Sage TXL’s? Supposedly Sage specialist twigging weapons? I’ve not tried the Circa or One, but had one of those TXL’s a few years back in a 1wt and it was surprisingly crisp.
    I love 3 weights for all my Vic small stream work.
    My ‘long’ (8ft 5) 3wt is a ZXL which is a cracker for autumn small dries on open streams, a short (affordable) 7ft Vision for scrub-bashing the tighter twig waters, and a 7ft6 cane rod, because sometimes smooth and slow is the go. No doubt I’ll contrive a need for another rod over winter…

    • David says:

      Thanks for the comment.
      I had the 7′ #3 TXL before the Circa and One and it was a little cracker of a rod.
      (The Circa is a bit slower, and the One a bit faster FWIW.)
      At the same time, I also had the long ZXL #3 for similar situations you mention.
      (there’s a review on the site)
      In hindsight, these two rods would be a perfect combination for Northeast Vic IMHO !

  • Bob Norris says:

    Nice read Dave, you’re just talked me in to get a Sage One 3wt

  • John Short says:

    What size Abel TR reel are you using on the Circa 7-9 three weight

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